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  1. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    I would say the Koralia's are better as they give a slower but larger volume of water flow. Normal powerheads, pumps, etc give a high speed jet of water that doesn't seem to provide such a good flow of water around the tank. James
  2. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Because some of the plants I have don't grow in tap water, namely Tonina Fluviatilis, Rotala Macrandra and Ultricularia Graminifolia. I also notice all my fish are much happier with brighter colours. James
  3. JamesC

    journal oct 2009 new pic page 4

    Re: chilled84's 1st Planted tank Don't know where you got this info from but I'm afraid it is wrong. Although it does remove a small amount of the ferts we dose it's definetly not a reason to stop dosing. Somewhere there is a chart listing the amounts of various chemicals that are taken up by...
  4. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Hi Tom, I've had my Akadama for nearly two years now and it is holding up fine. It does crumble a bit just like any other baked clay substrate does and if disturbed it will produce a small amount of cloudiness. Five years for a clay substrate is pretty good going. If this is a problem then I'd...
  5. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Soaking for longer won't make any difference at all to the Akadama, even with the warm temperatures. Best to use hard water as it will soak up the cations. When you get back just give it a good rinse and you will set to use it. Quite a lot of people don't bother to soak it and don't have any...
  6. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    So far it's been great and hasn't caused me any problems. I find it easy to plant in and I even like the colour of it as well. It's nothing new as Amano was using it many years ago. James
  7. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    It might do. It's not something I tried. If iron (II) sulphate finds it's way into the water column is will make it go very milky if there are phosphates present. James
  8. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Hi Sam, Just reused what was there as it showed no signs of disintergrating. IMHO mature substrates are best. I did a couple of water changes when uprooting the plants and running my fingers through the Akadama to remove the mulm buildup. I keep an eye on other forums and notice quite a few...
  9. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Go to http://www.aquaristikshop.com and search for OFA Komfort. There are three models, standard, Komfort and teleskop of which I use the komfort. Here's a discussion for it - http://www.ukaps.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=72 James
  10. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Thanks everyone. My scapes tend to evolve over time so no doubt this one will change as well. 200 litres Rena tank Arcadia Luminaire with 2x 54W T5 840's on 8 hours and 2x 54W T5 880's on for 4 hour midday burst Eheim 2028 with Aquamas CO2 reactor and ETH300 heater attached Koralia 2 with...
  11. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Decided that I wanted a lower maintanance tank as the number of fast growing stems was becoming too much for me. HC had to go as well as it is far too much of a rampant grower. So this week out came the plants, gave the Akadama a clean and replanted the plants I wished to keep. I was well...
  12. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    The Koralia's are very good. They have the water intake almost all over the whole surface so any bubbles at the back get sucked in as well. A few bubbles do get past but most get sucked in. Another good thing about the Koralia is that it uses a ball socket so it is possible to position in many...
  13. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    The large plant on the right is Tropica Echinodorus 'Red Diamond'. New leaves grow out a lovely deep red and then turn green with age. Mainly brought to see how well a supposedly heavy substrate feeder would do in Akadama. It has a bit of osmocote around it and seems to pearl all the time so I'd...
  14. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Some quick photos before I go away. Tank's not at it's best at the mo as I'm trying some new plants and have been messing about with a few things. Just noticed it has been running with the Akadama for over a year now. Akadama seems to be holding up well so far which is good. You'll have to...
  15. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    I have only added the ceramic diffuser recently to see if it made any difference. I've used diffusers in smaller tanks and have always noticed better growth so thought I'd try it on my 200 litre. So far it's looking good with increased pearling from the plants. This could be because of better...
  16. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    I've been fiddling around with this tank a fair bit and trying out new plants, dosing, etc. Lighting is 8 hours using two 54W T5's with a 2 hour burst in the middle with an extra two 54W T5's. Tubes are two Philips 965's and two Osram 840's. CO2 is diffused in an external reactor on one side and...
  17. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    It's doing really well thanks. My main problem being a crypt wendtii that is growing so well it's about to take over the tank. It just keeps on expanding. I'll try and get some photo's up soon. James
  18. JamesC

    Sam's 4ft nightmare, I mean journal

    Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues Any update on this tank Sam? James
  19. JamesC

    Sam's 4ft nightmare, I mean journal

    Re: Completely stumped - the saga continues A long shot but is that long piece of clear tubing you use food grade and do you drain it after using, or flush it through before use? James
  20. JamesC

    Sam's 4ft nightmare, I mean journal

    Re: Completely stumped Nice one Sam. Glad you got it sorted. James
  21. JamesC

    Sam's 4ft nightmare, I mean journal

    Re: Completely stumped Yes, I'd think that should be fine for your tank. That equates to 15ppm NO3 and 3ppm PO4 weekly. James
  22. JamesC

    Sam's 4ft nightmare, I mean journal

    Re: Completely stumped With terrestial plants there are definetely problems with overdosing, but with aquatic plants things are a lot more difficult to determin. Estimative Index followers will go blue in the face defending the idea that high nutrient levels don't cause a problem, but there are...
  23. JamesC

    Sam's 4ft nightmare, I mean journal

    Re: Completely stumped Sam, IMHO your dosing is seriously way too high. You're dosing 60ppm NO3 per week with 50% water changes which means that your tank is running at 120ppm without even taking the bioload into account. With a heavily planted tank under high lighting you may use up to about...
  24. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Can't give a definite answer to if there is any benefit to adding the osmocote, but I can say that the crypt wendtii I've got has grown massive. Most of my plants are stems so it's a bit harder to tell with them. But as it's so cheap I add it anyway as I'm sure it is going to be of some benefit...
  25. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    None whatsoever. The capsules are slow release so what small amounts are released, if not taken up by the plants straight away, will be converted to NO3 by bacteria in the substrate. James
  26. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Both micros and macros. Just carry on with my normal dosing. James
  27. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Hi, I'm still here. Nothing much to report except nothing much has changed. The Akadama is holding up well with quite frequent replanting of stems. Algae is almost none existent except for a a small bit that grows on the glass and needs scraping off every week or two. The only thing I now do is...
  28. JamesC

    saintlys sumatradriftwood scape

    Just to add to the confusion there are many different forms of L. Aromatica. I had one some years ago that was very different to the Tropica variety. Didn't like it much at the time as it only had 3 leafs per node and so looked a bit sparse. Ditched it in favour of the tropica one, but now...
  29. JamesC

    Superman's 180l Asian Retreat

    Re: Superman's First Planted Tank (Now Rescaped 17.08.2008) Are you sure? It already has nearly 50ppm NO3 added weekly which IMHO is way excessive for this tank considering it probably has less than 5ppm uptake by the plants. This is even before we take NO3 from the fish into account. If it...
  30. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    Last update from me on this. I recently have switched from using RO + tap water with a KH and GH of ~3-4 to spring water with a KH of 7 and GH of 13. This has resulted in my large mat of UG losing it's colour and also has started falling apart. I shall therefore be ditching the whole lot...
  31. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    With me it doesn't seem to do very well with a rich dosing regime such as EI. Think others have also said similar things. It comes from very nutrient poor waters which may explain why. I have it growing in Akadama which is near enough inert and a lean dosing method. Not having too much light to...
  32. JamesC

    George's 80cm - final shots

    A quick look at the first picture's properties reveals the originating website - http://www.builderdepot.com/browse.ihtml?step=5&pid=192633&prodstoreid=2473 James
  33. JamesC

    Arks 125ltr learning curve now fully planted...

    Re: My first real planted tank - juwel rio 125 - Ark Not a great deal you can do without restricting the flow too much. Every time I clean out the filter I find a small colony of cherry shrimp in the bottom of my eheim. I just net them out and put them back in the tank. They always seem fine...
  34. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    I always like to remove the rock wool but you have to be super careful doing this with UG. This is how I did it with my one pot of UG. If you aren't happy doing this then cut the rockwool and UG in quarters and plant that way, would be my recommendation. James
  35. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    There is but not now I'm afraid. I've just planted up my 4 footer with it to see how it does. Had to use a lot at once to give it a chance as my amano shrimp seem to eat it. I'll let you know when it's harvest time. James
  36. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    Never used excel or easycarbo on this tank so cannot comment either way I'm afraid. James
  37. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    Haven't pruned it yet. Not sure it'd take too kindly to being prunned with scissors. I'm going to pull it up and replant in small clumps and see how that goes. Got 2x 11 watt lights on it. One is the light that came with the freebie PFK tank subscription offer and the other is an arcadia arcpod...
  38. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    Thought I'd update this thread and show how my UG has grown since I last posted. Once it gets a hold it really starts to take off. Getting a bit thick now so am going to take a load out and plant in my main tank to see how it goes in there. Seems to like the lean water column dosing that I do...
  39. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    I'll get some photo's done soon, though I'm a plant grower rather than an aquascaper so my tanks reflect that. Didn't really notice any difference when dosing urea so have now stopped and gone to an EI modified dosing method. Out of interest I've been growing some UG (Utricularia Graminifolia)...
  40. JamesC

    16 gallon Rescape Journal

    Nice one. That's a good price for all that wood. I'll be interested in seeing how you get on with the Akadama. You washed the Akadama the hard way. Took me about 15 minutes per bag to get it pretty clean by using a kitchen sieve. I've got some UG growing in my tank and it has taken off big...
  41. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Yes, the 10kg or 14 litre. Because we know the volume of the bag it's a fairly straight forward calculation to work out the volume of substrate required and therefore the number of bags. Thanks James
  42. JamesC

    Lee's new start.... 180L Island scape

    Looking good. Glad the blyxa got to you safely. The CO2 reactor comes from Aquamas and is the bees knees IMHO. Aquamas don't sell on ebay anymore but now run a website shop - http://www.aquamas.de/Reaktoren. James
  43. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Sam, I'm sure just soaking it in hard water will be fine, just not quite as effective as adding GH salts. Water changes in the first couple of weeks will help loads as well at keeping KH stable. Tank is going great and I'm really happy with everything so far. When I get some time I'll post up...
  44. JamesC

    Si's 90cm bow

    Very nice and healty looking plants too. A couple of things that spring to mind. I try not to place red plants at the sides as it tends to keep pulling your attention to them away from the main scape. Perhaps a midground plant or two between the two large rocks to create a more gentle slope from...
  45. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Everything is growing nicely at the mo. But something is eating my Alternanthera reineckii 'rosaefolia' that I have just brought :evil: Just wondering if the shrimps are a bit hungry and have decided it is rather tasty. What has surprised me is how clear the water is. Never had it this clear...
  46. JamesC

    George's 80cm - final shots

    Very nice George. Even the rock some of us moaned about earlier looks great now. Well done for sticking with it. That blyxa grows big doesn't it? Is that a hint of red I see behind some of the Blyxa at the back? James
  47. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    A quick update after a week. After 4 days the GH had risen a bit more to 14.6 from 13.4 three days earlier. KH was the same at 2.8. Did a water change which brought GH down to 9.0. After seven days GH was up to 11.2 and KH was still 2.8. Not so worried about GH now as it's only drifting up a bit...
  48. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    The only places I've seen it for sale are Bonsai dealers. Yellow pages or Google to find a place close to you. I got mine from http://www.lvbonsai.co.uk/ as he's only five minutes drive from me. Mail order can be pricey because of the weight and size. Make sure you get the double line hard...
  49. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    It was called Aqua Scoop, but I can't seem to find it on the AE website either. It was a year and a half ago I brought it. James
  50. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Just looks that way. They were all chopped back with just the tops replanted and the bottoms were chucked. Some excess HC and blyxa went in another tank. James
  51. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    As long as it is a cation it should be held onto by the Akadama. So Mg++, Ca++, K+, NH4+ etc. There are varying degrees that each will be held though. Anions like NO3-, H2PO4-, Cl-, etc won't be touched by the Akadama. Tap water mainly contains the cations we want, ie, Mg++, Ca++, K+ in varying...
  52. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    Yes, if you want ADA AS copy then add an ammonium compound like ammonium nitrate or ammonium chloride. As NH4+ is a cation it will be taken in by the Akadama and make available N for the plant roots. Pre-treating just speeds up the process that would normally take a few weeks with aquarium...
  53. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    It's all to do with CEC. Adding the ferts, or more specifically Mg, Ca and K to the Akadama beforehand theoretically prevents the release of H+ into the water which reacts with carbonates lowering KH and pH. Fish don't take too kindly to KH swings. When I tested it a while ago the Akadama was...
  54. JamesC

    JamesC's 200 litre Akadama journal

    After the success of my 25 litre PFK tank using Akadama as a substrate I decided it was time to change the 3.5 year old silica sand in my 200 litre Rena tank over to Akadama. The planned day arrived and the rest of the family went to Bluewater to give me some space :D Tank Details: 200 litre...
  55. JamesC

    George's 80cm - final shots

    That's clever thinking there Dan. Not quite sure I agree, but I like the idea. Not that I really know what I'm talking about but something a bit striking to pull your eye away from the central rock may help. Interesting to see how this one develops. James
  56. JamesC

    George's 80cm - final shots

    Looking good George. Don't like the central rock I'm afraid. Too dominant all by itself and right in the middle. Possibly move it slightly to the right and angle it forward a bit. Have you ever thought about a splash of red? A red sunset over the top of the forest type effect. Can look quite...
  57. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    Thanks for posting Dave. I was hoping others would post their successes as well. Looks like yours is growing well. Ideally I'd like more light than 22W, but it's only a test tank that I try different plants out in so it'll have to do. Interesting you mentioned Amano shrimp. I've got Amano...
  58. JamesC

    UG - Utricularia graminifolia

    Seems people have been having problems with Utricularia graminifolia or UG so I thought I post my setup and parameters. Just over a month ago I decided to give it a go to see how I'd get on with it. I planted a little bit in my test tank tank. Most of what I had went into my main tank but...
  59. JamesC

    sks's tank redo

    Greenline are very good and have used several times. How big are your clown loach? They have a bad reputation of wrecking planted tanks. Sometimes you get lucky though. James
  60. JamesC

    Dan's New Tank

    Fantastic setup. I especially like your cabinet. The fire extinguisher is pretty cool as well. Looking forward to see how the scape develops James
  61. JamesC

    George's 80cm - final shots

    There are different types of surface scum. The one I get is caused by, believe it or not, Iron Bacteria. It can be recognised by if you break it with your finger it doesn't flow back together and has a blueish hint to it. If you have a fatty scum then this is caused by lipids leaching out of the...
  62. JamesC

    sks's tank redo

    As far as I know Aqua Essentials only sell mono photassium phosphate KH2PO4 - http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=145_146&products_id=521 James
  63. JamesC

    sks's tank redo

    You had it right to start with. I do mix them all together. I am still basically testing it which is why I've not really mentioned it before. Updated my webpage - http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/allinone.htm James
  64. JamesC

    sks's tank redo

    Ascorbic acid is Vitamin C which I have in powder form. Think you might be able to buy it at the supermarket or chemist. The potasium sorbate I have looks like small pellets. No idea where it is for general sale though. You could instead use E218 Methyl Paraben but this may also be difficult to...
  65. JamesC

    sks's tank redo

    E300 Ascorbic Acid E202 Potassium Sorbate Ex chemist. Computers now. James
  66. JamesC

    sks's tank redo

    If you look at my PMDD page you'll see what they are. Perfectly safe and found in most soft drinks that you can buy. Luckily I have access to a lot of chemicals so I've never tried to buy them. Not the thing people want to buy, except if you're a drink or food manucturer, which is why they may...
  67. JamesC

    sks's tank redo

    Yes Hydrocloric can be harmful but the tiny amount used is harmless. I now longer use HCl as I've had much greater success with food additives. James
  68. JamesC

    sks's tank redo

    Agree with what Dan says. You need LOADS more plants in there if you wish to keep algae under control especially with the lighting you have and EI dosing. I always fully plant a new tank to make sure I don't run into any problems. I've now sussed out how to keep all the ingredients in one...
  69. JamesC

    James3200s 6.5x2x2' planted tank - UPDATE - 26/06/09

    Spectacular setup. If I could just add you may wish to have the inline CO2 reactor on the outflow side of the filter rather than the inflow to prevent it from clogging up. James
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